👋 Hi, Sabir here. Welcome to this week’s issue of The Pursuit of Perfection, your weekly guide to help you do things well without half-assing them!
I have very stark memories of times in my working life when I’ve made a mistake and felt terrible for it. To the point where I’ve given myself a hard time for the rest of the day.
Perhaps you have experienced something similar.
As I write this, I’m still not 100% sure whether I was “right” or “wrong” for doing so. I’m still trying to figure this out. What I can say with immense confidence though, is that we all need an element of disappointment following an under-par result.
If we don’t feel hurt, we haven’t set our standards high enough and have settled for mediocrity, a recipe for professional development disaster.
The next question that comes to mind is, does this mean that we’ll make fewer errors if we raise our standards? I’d say yes and no - here’s why.
While the number of mistakes may be reduced, mistakes themselves will never be eliminated because we are imperfect beings attempting perfect outcomes. Attempting is what's key here.
It’s impossible to get everything right all of the time, even if we try. Actually, allow me to rephrase that - it’s impossible to get everything right, ever. I expanded on this a few weeks ago in a previous issue which you can read here.
So if it’s impossible to get everything right, is it even worth the effort to produce phenomenal results? Absolutely.
Our results shouldn’t be self-judged based on the odd mistake but on our unwavering attempt towards error-free outcomes.
Now, I appreciate the above is somewhat contradictory. Allow me to explain…
The thrill at work comes from the attempt at perfect results, not from whether or not we get there. This doesn’t mean to say that mistakes should be the goal, of course not. Otherwise, our results would be scattered with them.
Instead, our aim should always be to produce results with as few errors as possible. Will we make mistakes along the way? Yes, that is guaranteed.
Following years of putting myself down for making errors, I’ve only just recently begun to adopt this fresh perspective. Hand on heart, it’s been an extremely freeing experience.
My hope is that it will do wonders for your experience in the workplace too.
I posted a couple of questions this week about workplace mistakes on LinkedIn & Facebook - here’s what you responded with:
See you next week,
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